No, not at all. Often the children live in small apartments in large city tower blocks so even the most cosy UK home seems large to them! We just ask that the child is able to have their own bedroom, so that they have a space to call their own should they need a bit of quiet time. Boarding school life is so hectic and they often sleep in shared dormitories, so having a bit of private space is welcome at their homestay family.
The children go to stay their homestay family so that they can experience being part of a British family. As such, they should just join in with your usual family activities. Their lives are so busy at school, often they just want to sleep in late, watch TV, eat and relax. Cinema, take-away and shopping trips are popular with teenagers. Younger children often like a bit more of your time and entertainment. The trick is to welcome them as part of your family and for them to just join in with your usual family life.
Homestay families will be required to inform their home and car insurers that they are taking on this voluntary role. This rarely gives rise to a problem or incurs a charge, but it is important to have it noted on your policy.
Animals are a part of British family life so in most cases they enhance the experience for the child in your care. Often the children have pets of their own back home. We just ask you to tell us about your pets on the application form, in case we have a child with allergies or a fear of animals, so we can be sensitive about this when placing the child with the right homestay family.
If at all possible it is nice for the child to be welcomed back to the UK by a friendly face at the start of a new term and to be waved off when they leave. If the child is younger, they will travel as an unaccompanied minor, so the airline requires proof of ID. However, airports are not for everyone and if the homestay family is unable to do the airport runs, we can arrange for a driver to collect them. Often the school will make arrangements for them to travel with friends to the airport at the end of term.
Our team of staff will always be on hand to support you should you be experiencing problems. Should your circumstances change or your have sudden, last-minute difficulties, we are there at the end of the phone to assist you. This is a partnership, to care for the children involving both the homestay family and our staff team.
As keeping in touch with the child and the school is an important part of being a homestay family, we usually seek families who live no more than an hour by car from the school.
We are currently looking for homestay families in the following areas:
EMERGENCY HOMESTAY FAMILIES
We are seeking emergency homestay families to be on stand-by, to be located anywhere in England. We do not currently have emergency placements requiring guardians.
If you are interested in the role of homestay family, even if we do not currently have students at schools near you, please call Siobhan Skaife for an informal chat. We are always looking for great families.
Although this role is voluntary, expenses incurred in the care of the child are reimbursed. These are to cover the costs of food, heating, electricity, fuel and an allowance for both the commitment and responsibility and your time. The table below gives an idea of what you will be entitled to claim.
|Termly Retainer (Responsibility Allowance)||£150|
|Stay per night||£35|
|Per day (when not staying overnight)||£15|
|Airport runs, school events, parents evenings etc||Mileage plus £7.50/hour|
|Holiday responsibility allowance for taking your student away for example to a holiday home or skiing. (in addition to the trip cost)||£15/per day|